The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) has named Dr. Bette M. Simmons, vice president of Student Development and Enrollment Management at County College of Morris, (CCM), a Pillar of the Profession. The award is presented by NASPA to honor professionals who have distinguished themselves as leaders, teachers and scholars in student affairs and higher education.
“We are delighted that NASPA has recognized Dr. Simmons for her outstanding leadership skills and steadfast commitment to ensuring the success of students by providing them with quality learning opportunities and strong student life programs,” said Dr. Edward J. Yaw, CCM president. “Throughout the course of her career at CCM, Dr. Simmons has positively impacted the lives of generations of students through her keen insight, wisdom and compassion.”
The award will be presented to Dr. Simmons, a resident of Morristown, at the NASPA national conference in Philadelphia on March 14.
Dr. Simmons began her career in higher education in 1980 when she assumed the position of assistant to the dean of students at CCM. She steadily advanced at CCM holding the positions of counselor, assistant to the president and affirmative action officer, assistant dean of student development, and dean of student development. In 2005, she was named vice president of Student Development and Enrollment Management.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by NASPA and my peers,” said Dr. Simmons. “I also consider myself fortunate to work at an institution and with a staff of individuals who are so firmly committed to student success and to enriching the educational experience both in and out of the classroom.”
As the senior student affairs administrator at CCM, Dr. Simmons supervises the staff and programs in Academic Advisement, Admissions, Athletics, Campus Life, Career Services & Cooperative Education, Counseling Services, Enrollment Services, Financial Aid, Health Services, Records & Registration, and the Women’s Center.
Dr. Simmons earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French from Thiel College, her master’s degree in counseling and human services from Montclair University, and her doctorate in higher education administration from Seton Hall University.
An active member of the Morris County community, she is involved with Morristown Neighborhood House, the Morris County Human Relations Commission, Calvary Baptist Church Community Development Corporation, the Morristown Juvenile Conference Committee, Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, Community Hope, Inc., and the Morris County Sexual Assault Advisory Board. She also provides training for the Volunteers for Morris County as well as the Seton Hall University Board Leadership Institute.
At NASPA, she has held the positions of Region II vice president, national director of Knowledge Communities, Region II network coordinator, and Region II Community & Two-Year Colleges Network chair. She also is a member of the National Council for Student Development, the National Council of Black American Affairs, the National Association of Women in Education, and the New Jersey Deans of Students Association. She also serves as a college evaluator for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
Included among her awards and distinctions, Dr. Simmons is the recipient of the Morristown Neighborhood House Distinguished Volunteer Award (2010), the Morris County Phenomenal Woman of the Year (2009), Thiel College Distinguished Alumni Award ( 2008), the Alpha Kappa Kappa Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Award for outstanding contributions to the growth of the chapter (2007), the NASPA Latino/a Knowledge Community Award for outstanding support and encouragement of Latinos in higher education ( 2007), the New Jersey College Health Association Award in support of the promotion of college health (1998), and the Displaced Homemaker Network of New Jersey, Inc. Award for outstanding contributions to women and families (1995).